THE TV COLUMN
CBS isn't shying away from its golden Sheen
CBS is on Orange Alert over Charlie Sheen's partying ways, but his off-camera activities have not affected his job as star of the country's most popular comedy, CBS programming chief Nina Tassler told TV critics attending Winter Press Tour 2011.
"We have a high level of concern - how could we not?" Tassler told TV critics when they got all Ladies of River City on her.
The knickers-knotted critics had jumped on Tassler right off the bat during her Q&A session, with urgent questions about the "Two and a Half Men"-star-on-bender-with-porn-star reports that have gripped the nation for weeks and months.
Sheen's been a godsend for the celebrity suck-up industry, providing such TV shows as "Entertainment Tonight," Web sites such as Deadline.com and magazines such as Us Weekly and People with gobs of ongoing stories - all this in the wake of Sheen's guilty plea to assaulting his wife in Aspen, Colo., and rearranging a New York hotel suite while partying with a porn star and, of course, last weekend's partying in Las Vegas.
"I really didn't expect that question this morning, so I'm really taken by surprise," Tassler could not resist joking when she took the first Charlie Sheen Is a Brazen Reprobate question, which went like this: "How would you characterize the level of concern and what the network is doing to help him?"
"On a basic human level, there is concern - this man is a father, he has children, he has a family. Obviously, there's concern on a personal level," Tassler said.
"But you can't look at it simplistically," she added.
"Charlie is a professional. He comes to work. He does his job extremely well. . . . It's very complicated," Tassler continued, insisting that she has "tremendous trust and respect" for how Warner Bros., which produces the show, has been "managing the situation."
Warner Bros. is managing this situation?
"On a personal level, we're concerned - on a professional level, he does his job and he does it well and the show's a hit, and that's all I have to say. Next question."